This time Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn’t making vague threats about secession. He’s merely threatening to ignore a possible Supreme Court ruling:
At a radio forum sponsored by the anti-abortion and anti-birth control group Personhood USA, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that he would refuse to obey a Supreme Court decision striking down the group’s signature anti-choice proposal:
QUESTION: You have agreed to “endorse legislation making clear that Fourteenth Amendment protections apply to unborn children” . . . . What happens if the U.S. Supreme Court attempts to strike down this legislation, and replace it with one of its own edict denying the inalienable right to life for all persons born or unborn? Would you enforce the inalienable right to life or the Court’s opinion as the law?
PERRY: Well, obviously you enforce the right to life opinion.
Perry’s promise to openly defy the Supreme Court is disturbing, but it is also far from original. Fellow candidates Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich have also pledged to treat binding Supreme Court opinions as if they were merely optional, and Gingrich even supports legitimizing his radical view of the Constitution through a campaign of intimidation against judges who disagree with him.
Nevertheless, the GOP’s burgeoning love affair with Jim Crowesque defiance of the judiciary is very strange, considering that activist judging is the backbone of their policy agenda.
It could be that 2011 will go down in the books as the year when even the lowest of “low-information” voters realized, thanks to the Occupy Wall Street movement, that government has become dysfunctional because the interests of our elected officials are at odds with the interests of the electorate:
From its inception, OWS has focused on the concept of legalized bribery, as the continually rising cost of a political campaign – an average of $1.4 million for a successful House run, up fourfold in real dollars since 1976, and nearly $10 million for a Senate seat – has been largely subsidized by wealthy donors, corporations and special interests, in return for legislation that favors their interests. It’s a form of regulatory capture that most first-world democracies outlaw as corruption, but that Americans know as “the way things are,” along with “ask your doctor” pharmaceutical ads and campaigns pitching products directly to young children. The result is an almost total lack of confidence in our elected officials, as reflected by Congress’ almost impossibly low 9 percent approval rating.
The fact that Congress is moving away from the rest of the public is exactly why Occupy Wall Street has found such a giant hole in the political conversation to step into, and why our national representatives have kept their distance even when polls showed the public responding powerfully to our complaints and slogans. In a true market of political ideas, we’d have been prime targets for coopting. Instead, President Obama works “99 percent” into his speeches, and business as usual continues…
Despite such indifference, Occupy Wall Street resonated where previous protests petered out by creating and holding a physical space where it was impossible to avert one’s gaze… The 99 percent rediscovered the collective power of our voice, and started using it to make a whole lot of noise… In 2012, expect to hear more of that noise from Occupy the Caucuses and Occupy Congress. Money talks, but we do too.
Good diagnosis. Now it’s time to start working on a cure.
Following A to Z on Thursday, Jay hosts Eve Gittelson, who reviews the year in health care policy. Listen Live and Later. A to Z at 5pm/8pm, Jay and Eve at 6pm/9pm eastern.
Last night, for Virtually Speaking Susie 6pm pacific, 9pm eastern Stuart joined Digby and Susie Madrak explore the impact of current events on the daily lives of working class people. Turned into two hours with plenty to chew on. Listen live and later